Friday, January 18, 2019 4:50 pm
By Rupert Ojenuwa
When the NEWS broke yesterday that Vice President Atiku Abubakar was on his way to America, I knew that the media space was in for frenzy. I had written in several articles that Atiku’s Visa denial wasn’t proof at all that he was corrupt. In the heat of that article, one prominent Nigerian said, ‘If he is not corrupt like you claim, ask him to go to America and I shall believe you’.
As I pen this article, not only is he in America, he chose to lodge in Trump International Hotel, an exquisite piece of property owned by the President of America, President Donald Trump. His choice for that hotel is strategic- it is to send enough and clear message to his traducers that he, in fact, is truly in America and that he didn’t sneak in to avoid arrest. In other words, his visit to America isn’t a Nicodemus approach. How Perfect?
Atiku’s visit to America further bears credence to the nagging fact that all along he had been a victim of a campaign of calumny. A victim of a select Nigeria elites, who through fear of what Atiku will bring to the table in terms of value are afraid of a possibility of his presidency, perhaps with the knowledge of the fact that he truly can get Nigeria working again.
Let us take restructuring for example. It is a well-established fact that Nigeria is a complex nation. Her complexities make it almost difficult for things to work particularly when there is an overt concentration of power in the center which makes Abuja very powerful and also a money sharing capital. The crude deposits mostly from the South South of Nigeria, which is a major income generator for the Federal Government, instead of playing the role of a blessing to our nation becomes somewhat of a curse because all states wait to receive their largesse from a bleeding Niger Delta region which by the way has little or nothing to show for the enormous natural resources the creator has endowed her with. Is that what it should be? The answer is ‘NO’
Hiwever, a few Nigerians can’t seem to imagine a South southern part of Nigeria in full control of her resources but Atiku understands that perfectly. He knows that restructuring will not only benefit the South, it will benefit the North even more but those whose mandibles are fixed on the Niger Delta’s oil resources wouldn’t even give it a thought.
States like Kogi, Zamfara and indeed all Nigerian states are enormously blessed. Can you stop to imagine what that will bring to the national table when their natural resources are fully optimized? It will be a hyper flourishing economy and that is what Atiku envisages with his restructuring campaign but some elites, knowing that it may take a while for these things to be fully achieved and cannot bear to see their sources of income vanish before their eyes, label Atiku as corrupt.
I read in the Social Media a barrage of allegation against Atiku. From very bizarre ones to even comical allegations, some of which one doesn’t need rocket science to decipher the sinister motives behind them. I mean one of those making the rounds on Social Media is that Atiku is the reason that Nigeria’s power situation hasn’t improved. Really? Do you mean the same man who, when he was in the ruling APC, approached the Chief Executive and Commander in Chief of the nation to lend a blue print as to how the nation’s power problems can be fixed is the reason there isn’t power in Nigeria? Do you mean a man whose organizations employ more than fifty thousand Nigerians in direct jobs and more than two hundred and fifty thousand Nigerians in indirect jobs, and whose organization has to run on generators with a substantial part of what would have passed as profit expended on energy sourcing is the one responsible for Nigeria’s power problems? Come on!
If anything, Atiku continues to demonstrate that Nigeria can be returned to the path of growth. He demonstrates that he has the requisite knowledge, pedigree and wherewithal to pull through his promises and his visit to America is an attestation that he had been a victim of a negative campaign. I say, like the priest declares from the Bible during a typical wedding, ‘If you have no reasons for which these should not be joined in holy matrimony, then remain silent on this union forever. For what God has joined together, let no man put asunder’. I therefore say that if Atiku wasn’t stopped and wasn’t arrested in America like his traducers claim he will be, let anyone claiming that he is corrupt, remain silent over this matter forever and in the interest of the economic progress of Nigeria consider an Atiku presidency. And God’s people shall say (Amen)